Battle of Rullion Green

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Battle of Rullion Green
Part of Scottish Covenanter Wars
Date28 November 1666
Result Government victory
Scottish Royal Army Covenanter rebels
Commanders and leaders
Tam Dalyell of the Binns 1.James Wallace of Auchens, 2.Joseph Learmont
2600 900
Casualties and losses
light 50+ killed
Designated30 November 2011
Reference no.BTL27
Battle of Rullion Green is located in Scotland
Battle of Rullion Green
Location within Scotland

The Battle of Rullion Green in the Pentland Hills, in Lothian, Scotland on 28 November 1666 was the culmination of the brief Pentland Rising (15–28 November 1666). At least 3000 men of the Scottish Royal Army led by Tam Dalyell of the Binns opposed about 900 Covenanter rebels.

The Pentland Rising was in the context of the long-running government campaign to impose episcopalianism upon Scotland. The uprising began in St. John’s Town of Dalry, where troops were beating an elderly man who had defaulted on a fine for not attending government-approved church services. The troops were interrupted by four covenanters and then supported by the local populace, who disarmed the soldiers. Robert McClellan of Barscobe led the Rising; he gathered some men in Dalry, led them to Balmaclellan, where after a skirmish with other troops, he raised more men. McClellan led them to Dumfries, and there they captured the local commander, General James Turner, at 5.30 in the morning, still in his nightshirt, in his lodgings on the Whitesands. McClellan, aided by Neilson of Corsock, took the gathering force up to Ayrshire, thence to Lanarkshire, and then to Colinton near Edinburgh, on their way to present their petition to the Parliament. Many deserted the group following bad weather, a poor choice of routes and the news received at Colinton that they could not expect a sympathetic reception in Edinburgh. From a peak of perhaps 3000 men the force had diminished by half at Colinton, and then further dispersed as the group headed home towards Galloway. The rebels included experienced professional soldiers as well as citizenry, and were commanded by Colonel James Wallace of Auchens, seconded by Major Joseph Learmont.

The monument outside Dreghorn Barracks at Colinton near Edinburgh, which commemorates Rullion Green

The rebel forces decided to hold a parade and review by Colonel Wallace at Rullion Green in the Pentland Hills. General Tam Dalyell of the Binns was with a force in Currie, and cut through the Pentland Hills to confront the rebels. The survivors were treated with cruelty; 15, including Neilson of Corsock, were hanged, drawn and quartered, and several, including two boys of 18, were tortured first with the boot.

The battlefield added to the Inventory of Historic Battlefields in Scotland in 2011.[1]


  1. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Battle of Rullion Green (BTL27)". Retrieved 5 March 2019.


  • Kirkton, James, A History of the Church of Scotland, ed. R. Stewart, 1992.
  • Turner, Sir James, Memoirs of His own Life and Times, 1632-1670, 1829.
  • Wallace, James, Narrative of the Rising Suppressed at Pentland, in Memoirs of William Veitch and George Bryson, ed. T. McCrie, 1825.
  • Cowan, I. B. The Scottish Covenanters, 1660-1688, 1976.
  • Donaldson, G., Scotland from James V to James VII, 1965.
  • Mathieson, W. L., Politics and Religion-A Study in Scottish History from the Reformation to the Revolution, 1902.
  • Terry, C. S. The Pentland Rising and Rullion Green, 1905.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°51′00″N 3°15′18″W / 55.85005°N 3.25505°W / 55.85005; -3.25505